More Protection Needed For Families At Risk Of Homelessness

By Seamus Whelehan

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Legislation is urgently needed to protect families from being “turfed” out of their homes by financial institutions seeking to make a tidy profit on underperforming loans, Independent Cllr Noel Collins told Council on Tuesday.

The Midleton based Cllr said the Minister for Housing Eoughan Murphy must turn hopelessness into hope for the families and “ease the human suffering inflicted on them”.

A campaigner for social justice, Cllr Collins said banks and other financial institutions have significantly ramped up action against debtors in recent weeks “swooping like vultures now as there is an upturn in the property market.”

He said “anyone caught in the cross fire of repossessions and evictions face life on the streets” unless “the government awake from their slumber and prevent a return to a system where the banks rule the roost.”

Independent Cllr Frank Roche who backed the call said despite many believing it is just people with drug and alcohol addictions that end up on the streets, the reality couldn’t be further from the truth.

“There are an awful lot of people going out to do a decent days work that are actually homeless and they are not being recorded as the real homeless.”

Fine Gael Cllr John Paul O’Shea said what he finds “appalling” are cases where properties have been voluntarily surrendered to financial institutions and are just left idle.

He said he had one such case in his constituency that has been left vacant for nine years yet the bank have done nothing to either sell the property on or rent it out.

A letter is now being sent to the Minister for Housing urging him to affect a legislative change giving families and couples struggling to keep a roof over their head more protections.

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